The center rents facilities to resident firms and, depending on the nature of the firm, clients are eligible to apply for grants.
The center - which has focused on software development, information technology and precision manufacturing companies - is adding the specialized laboratory space for life science firms. The new lab space is expected to help increase the number of biotechnology firms in Washington County.
The center's $1.3 million addition is slated to open in early 2008, and should accommodate six to seven resident firms, with a maximum of 11, Director Chris Marschner said. That's in addition to existing space designed for 15 to 18 resident business firms. Applications for the lab space are being accepted.
The center's proximity to HCC's Advanced Technology Center and other HCC faculty enables firms to obtain assistance on a wide array of subject areas. Clients also have easy access to student labor for internships and full- and part-time employment.
The TIC also runs an affiliate program that is open to all types of enterprises. Marschner said that for a nominal fee, affiliates can take advantage of many of the same benefits at the center without being physically present, which can include meeting space, copying and other services.
Resident clients and affiliates can participate in, at no additional cost, group training seminars, networking events and business luncheons at the center.
The center is self-supporting, with all operating costs paid for with client fees. Surplus revenue is reinvested in additional shared equipment for client businesses.